Heather Peerboom, an instructor of English at the Forrest County Campus, has been selected as Pearl River Community College’s Humanities Teacher of the Year. The award is funded by the Mississippi Humanities Council and includes recognition at the Mississippi Humanities Council’s 2022 Public Awards Ceremony on March 25.
Peerboom will present “Health and Social Wellbeing: The Benefits of Book Reading” on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 12:15 p.m. in the building 5 multipurpose room on the Forrest County Campus. The lecture is part of the William Lewis Honors Institute Forrest County Center Honors Lecture series and is open to the public.
The annual award is part of the council’s programming to recognize academics at all of Mississippi’s colleges — public and private, two-year and four-year — by having them share their interests in a public setting. PRCC academic leaders in the humanities, led by Provost Dr. Martha Lou Smith, worked to identify a worthy nominee whose efforts in the classroom and service to the college deserve to be recognized.
“Ms. Peerboom has consistently challenged students to investigate the world around them via the humanities, not just in the classroom, but also through her leadership of the Forrest County Campus's chapter of the English Honor Society, Sigma Kappa Delta,” said Dean of Academic Instruction Dr. Greg Underwood.
“I am very proud for her, and I look forward to hearing her presentation showing us how the very humanistic act of reading can offer a path to help us navigate what has certainly been a trying last few years in terms of health and sociability.”
Peerboom received her master’s degree in English from the University of Southern Mississippi and has been teaching for close to 15 years. She’s been an instructor at Pearl River Community College for almost seven years and typically teaches freshman-level Composition, Honor’s English and World Literature.
She is a wife, mother, dog lover, wannabe world traveler and book lover.
“It was my love of literature and my desire to share that love that encouraged me to become an educator in the humanities, said Peerboom. “Like Margaret Atwood, I believe ‘A word after a word after a word is power.’”